Friday, May 18, 2007

Song of the Sparrow

Song of the Sparrow
Lisa Ann Sandell
Elaine lives among the men and boys of Arthur’s Round Table as a sister, healer, and friend. She is happy with her place in that world and her relationship with Lancelot, Arthur, Gawain, and the others, but is afraid of what will become of them all in the never-ending wars. With Picts invading from the north and Saxons from the south, the Britons are constantly at war. When a new woman arrives in camp, Elaine hopes to find a sister and friend to share her life in this world of men. Instead, she meets the beautiful and divisive Gwynivere. What follows traces the beginnings of Arthur’s reign and plants the seeds for the well-known story of love, loyalty, and betrayal. Told in Elaine’s voice and written in lyrical verse, with lovely depictions of the natural world around her, this is a welcome addition to the ranks of Arthurian novels. Elaine of Astolat, or the Lady of Shalott, is a character of Arthurian legend who has inspired poets and artists for generations; this revisionist novel tells her story in an entirely new and humanizing way.
BIBLIO: 2007, Scholastic, Ages 12 up, $16.99.

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